(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
New homes continue to sprout up on Five Mile prairie. Jack Dien, a 17-year resident of the area has seen a lot of changes and a lot of wildlife. But Sunday afternoon he received an unexpected guest on his deck.
"I thought somebody's dog got loose," Dien said. "So I got up to shoo it away and I went, 'That's not a dog! That's a cougar!'
Dien said something seemed different about the cougar on his deck.
"You could tell he looked very comfortable being at a glass slider. Reaching up and tapping on it. He reached up and tapped on it with his paw almost like he was knocking," Dien said.
The dangerous cat was acting more like a kitten than a predator, but Dien was still concerned for the area.
"The concern is that he would feel trapped or feel as though that's a meal source and attack a small child," Dien said.
The Department of Fish and WIldlife agrees.
"They're not very common for the area," said Capt. Dan Rahn. "If you do encounter a cougar and you have kids with you, pick up the kids, look as large as you can, make some noise, let the cat know that you're something they don't want to mess with."
Fish and Wildlife say that as homes are built closer and closer to the cougars' habitat, we are likely to see more of them. If you encounter one, call Fish and Wildlife right away.